When Josh Boone’s long-gestating adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand was announced by CBS All Access, Constant Readers wasted no time in dishing up their dream casts for the post-apocalyptic epic. But now that we’re learning who, exactly, will play the Superflu survivors, excitement’s cooled off a bit. That’s not to say the series won’t be good, but King’s story is gritty and offbeat, a sprawling playground suited for the industry’s best character actors—Boone’s casting, then, feels, well, kinda boring.
That doesn’t change with Deadline’s announcement that Nat Wolff, a talented alum of romances like Paper Towns and Boone’s The Fault In Our Stars, has been cast as conflicted career criminal Lloyd Henreid, a role played by the late, great Miguel Ferrer in the 1994 miniseries. Lloyd’s a fierce, sun-baked murderer in King’s story—many in our orbit hoped for someone like Walton Goggins or Caleb Landry Jones in the role—so it’s a little odd to see someone as baby-faced as Wolff cast. But, hey, we’re keeping an open mind.
It’s tough, though, when the rest of the cast list doesn’t inspire that much excitement. James Marsden, Whoopi Goldberg, and Amber Heard are all playing key roles that don’t really suit them, while the casting of Alexander Skarsgård as big bad Randall Flagg could go either way. Skarsgård showed he can be scary as hell in Big Little Lies, but one worries CBS All Access will lean on the malevolent seductiveness of his True Blood character, which would be an odd look on the folksy Flagg. As Lloyd, Wolff will play the right-hand to Skarsgård’s Man In Black.
That said, Boone’s made a few inspired choices. When They See Us’ Jovan Adepo is a solid, unexpected pick for musician Larry Underwood, while Orange Is the New Black’s Brad William Henke is perfect for dim sweetheart Tom Cullen. Fresh faces Henry Zaga, Odessa Young, and Owen Teague, who impressed as Patrick Hockstetter in It, round out the cast.
The good news? They still haven’t announced who’s playing the Trashcan Man. Don’t fuck this one up, y’all. (And don’t let it be Marilyn Manson.)